Most osteoarthritis treatment plans focus on medication for pain and swelling, but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of exercises and physical treatments. I can say that the most suitable exercises for OA will be swimming and light walking.
Also, low-impact stretching exercises are recommended to ease the pain and to strengthen your muscles. The following exercises are especially made to build string muscles to support painful arthritic joints and to increase the range of motion and mobility.
The below resistance exercises are an excellent treatment option if you have OA, because they will strengthen your muscles that support your joints leading to less pain and greater mobility.
1. Knee extensions
Image Credits: Knee extensions
Strengthening your quadriceps can prevent joint instability and allow for better movement in everyday life.
1. Sit on a chair or table with your knee crease slightly over the edge.
2. Extend one leg out straight, squeezing the thigh muscles at the top of the movement.
3. Bend your knee all the way, past a 90-degree angle, if able.
4. Continue this movement for 20 repetitions. Repeat on other leg.
2. Lying leg lifts
Image Credits: Lying leg lifts
This exercise works the quadriceps, hip flexors, and core muscles. It’s great for those with OA in the hips or knees and can be done anywhere by lying on a bed or floor.
1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat.
2. Extend one leg out flat on the bed with your foot flexed and toes toward the ceiling.
3. Lift your leg up past a 45-degree angle, engaging the muscles along the front of the thigh.
4. Hold one count at the top and slowly lower. Try to isolate the movement to just the leg, keeping your hips and body flat.
5. Continue with 15 repetitions. Repeat on other leg. Complete 3 sets.
3. Wall squats with stability ball
Image Credits: Wall squats with stability ball
1. Place a large stability ball against a wall and lean against the ball, resting it in the small of your back.
2. Place feet hip-width apart, approximately 2 feet away from the wall. Roll your shoulders back and look straight ahead.
3. Slowly lower yourself down into a seated position, not lowering past a 90-degree angle.
4. Squeeze your glutes and bring yourself back into a standing position, maintaining contact with the ball.
5. Repeat 15 times, rest, and repeat 3 sets.
4. Standing hamstring curls
Image Credits: Standing hamstring curls
1. Stand and face a wall or chair to hold on for balance. Place your feet hip-width apart. Stand tall with your gaze forward.
2. Bend one leg at the knee, bringing your foot up toward your buttocks. Don’t let your body rock back-and-forth as you do this movement.
3. Repeat 20 times on each side. Complete 3 sets.
5. Seated hip abduction
Image Credits: Seated hip abduction
1. Sit on the edge of a chair with your back straight, feet together, and hands on your thighs.
2. Tie a resistance band or place a resistance loop band around your thighs just above the knee.
3. Bring your knees out to the side, squeezing through the outer glutes to initiate the movement.
4. Repeat 20 repetitions. Repeat for 3 sets.
Image Credits: Runnerclick